Jerry Maguire’s Financials: A Hi-Top Investigation

Everyone knows the plot of Jerry Maguire, so we don’t need to review all that. If you don’t, you…well, first off, you’re not my kind of person. And, secondly, go watch it before reading on. Go ahead….we’ll wait.

Alright, everyone up to speed? Now we can get into it.

Jerry Maguire has long been a favorite of Le Cap’s. Loved it so much, My Buddy Matty and I spent an entire 1997 flight (and much of the subsequent Disney World Vacation) acting out the “Secret Garden” version with the lines from the movie edited in. *Pro Tip: People don’t enjoy that. **Other Pro Tip: Stay on property, not some dirtbag motel on a backwoods highway in Kissimmee

Over the years I’ve seen the movie probably a hundred times. Overall I still enjoy it. But I’ve found lately that I have some serious problems with the movie. Like…

  • How the hell did he get from the post-game locker room at Sun Devil Stadium after Monday Night Football, to suburban Los Angeles in time for all those angry biddies to still be having their “I Hate Men” Meeting???
  • Why did they let him back, unaccompanied, into his office after firing him at Cronin’s? And let him call all of his clients???
  • Why is Glenn Frey the GM of the Cardinals? I actually have an answer to this one…it was clearly Cameron Crowe’s unilateral wet dream.

Now, while all of these items are of great concern to me, the chief issue I have with this movie is:

Why didn’t Jerry Maguire- a successful and well-known agent who had Drew Bledsoe, Tim Hardaway, that hockey guy in the hospital, an apparent Gold Medal figure skater, and the Soon-to-be NFL #1 pick among his clients- have more than a few months’ worth of cash to run a business that only had one client and operated out of his condo???

Let’s take a quick look at the financial picture:

Marcee Tidwell confirmed early on in the movie that Maguire was paid 5% on his clients’ earnings.

In 96-97, Tim Hardaway’s salary with the Heat was 2.5M, bringing his career earnings to over $15M. Bledsoe was the #1 pick in the draft in ’93, and signed a $14.5M contract over 4 years. Maguire would have made close to $1.5M over 4 years himself…just off of these two clients. And by every indication he had a roster full of top notch clients across multiple sports.

This isn’t even accounting for the amount he’s pulling in on endorsements. Maguire himself told a client on the phone the agency gets 25% of all endorsements– so we can assume the agent gets a healthy cut of that. I mean, Kathy Sanders was in the middle of “the Acura deal”, when Maguire was fired…so you know he can bring in the serious players.

I’d say, conservatively, Jerry Maguire was pulling in $3-4 Million annually. So there is absolutely no reason he shouldn’t have some cash on hand.

Not to mention, SMI FIRED him, without any real cause, so they’re definitely going to have to compensate him. If he doesn’t get every penny he’s entitled from the deals he negotiated…it’s going to be a good portion of it. So, where is his severance? Certainly that should’ve been enough to at least get a decent suite in an office park, maybe a small support staff. But no…this guy has to MARRY his assistant because he can’t pay her Cobra Health plan?!?! WTF is going on here????

Jerry’s condo in LA is certainly nice…but not terribly extravagant. It appears to be very reasonable for someone of his stature.

He dresses nicely, but isn’t an overly flashy guy.

He rented a Pontiac to drive to Cush’s house.

Even look at the place they fired him, Cronin’s. He seemed comfortable there, certainly seemed like he’d been there before…it was like a glorified Bennigan’s. Not like he’s having daily lunch at The Palm.

His lifestyle certainly doesn’t seem to exceed the living he is making.

Now, what’d it cost to get this thing up and running the right way? An office space. A small support staff. Salary and benefits for Dorothy (plus Ray). A modest travel budget. I am sure, generously speaking 25-30k is enough for 3-6 months runway on this business…and that’s before they bring in a cent of revenue. And Jerry F’ing Maguire can’t pull that cash together?!?!

SO WHERE IS THIS GUY’S MONEY GOING?!?!

No apparent drug problem. He tips a few cocktails, but doesn’t seem like a guy who drank away his fortune….

There is simply no answer folks. No answer other than a complete lack of awareness, or sense of a cohesive story on the part of the movie makers. And trust me, it pains me to say that.

They had premise, a love story, 3 great actors in their absolute primes, and NFL rights…and decided, damn everything else, we’re making this movie…FULL SPEED AHEAD.

Don’t worry…I’m not going to do, what you all think I’m going to do…and FLIP OUT.

Overall, this doesn’t really detract from my enjoyment of the movie. Hell, it might add to it. If I’m watching it, it’s for all the Cruise-Gooding scenes…it’s for Bob Sugar…and Tee Pee…it’s for Marcee- damn’ that Regina King is a firecracker. I’m not tuning in for masterful movie making. And the problems I have with it just give me another reason to watch.

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